A Porch Sofa Almanac

Overview

For Peter Smith, the assignment from Minnesota Public Radio was simple: try to do something about Minnesota. So he began exploring the simple, everyday Minnesota things he came across and sharing them with listeners each Tuesday morning. The result is a hilarious, often wry, and always remarkable portrait of everyday life in the Land of 10,000 Lakes that will resonate with Minnesotans from the state's biggest cities to its smallest towns.

A Porch Sofa Almanac is the first ...

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Overview

For Peter Smith, the assignment from Minnesota Public Radio was simple: try to do something about Minnesota. So he began exploring the simple, everyday Minnesota things he came across and sharing them with listeners each Tuesday morning. The result is a hilarious, often wry, and always remarkable portrait of everyday life in the Land of 10,000 Lakes that will resonate with Minnesotans from the state's biggest cities to its smallest towns.

A Porch Sofa Almanac is the first collection of Smith's essays for MPR-stories that keep close to the ground and reflect on the common experiences of being a Minnesotan. Small-town football, stacks of Hudson Bay blankets in an antique store, ice fishing, and even those soggy gloves that emerge from melting snowbanks each spring. Following the calendar year, Smith's reflections are the perfect season-by-season companion for that chair by the fireplace, a bench by the campfire, a seat on the bus or train-or, of course, a porch sofa.

A Porch Sofa Almanac ultimately casts Minnesota in a wholly unique light. As Smith writes, "The entire state comes across as some wonderful, slightly quirky treasure unearthed at a church basement rummage sale." Much loved-perhaps a little rough around the edges-and absolutely ready to be shared.

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Editorial Reviews

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Thousands of listeners within the range of his MPR voice welcome Peter Smith's weekly pieces on the joys and memories of a true Minnesotan. Whether he's rhapsodizing about the warming pleasures of ice fishing or small-town high school football or musing on cribbage or nocturnal wildlife sounds, Smith makes you smile and appreciate your North Star State roots. This collection of a full year of his essays is a treasure in any season.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816672325
  • Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
  • Publication date: 8/25/2010
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 987,592
  • Product dimensions: 5.38 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Smith is a veteran of Twin Cities advertising and a regular contributor to Morning Edition on Minnesota Public Radio. He writes magazine features, fiction, and occasional op-ed pieces for the Star Tribune. He and his wife live in Hopkins, Minnesota.

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Table of Contents

Preface

Porch Sofas 1

Off to College: A Parental Spreadsheet 3

School Starts This Morning 5

We Want to Go Back, Too 7

In Praise of Small-Town Football 9

Conflicted 11

Autumn Golf 13

An Open Letter to the City of Hopkins 15

Hudson's Bay Blankets 18

Splitting Wood 20

The Menu Changes 22

Good Autumn Reads 24

Darn Packers Fans 26

Election Night Radio 28

No-Bleeping-Vember 30

Thanksgiving Road Game 32

A Thanksgiving Lesson 34

An Amusing Pastime 36

North Country Fashion Statement 38

Winter Wimps 40

Together Again for the Holidays 43

Sulking in a Winter Wonderland 45

A Christmas Shopping Memory 47

Now It Can Be Christmas 49

Alas, Poor Taurus 52

Dog Days in the Ice Fishing Shack 54

The Inscrutable Finn 56

Crows 58

Real World Valentine's Day 60

A Timeless Saga 63

Split-level Shack-whacky 66

Contemplating Gutter Gloves 68

Thinking Ill of the Literate 70

Jogging Again 72

Talk about Your Golf Drives 75

Cooking with Grandma 77

Are You with Us? Or Are You One of Them? 79

Planting Corn 82

A Little Frugality, Por Favor 84

Lilac Season 86

Meditation on a Green Minivan 88

They're Back 91

What's the Rush? 94

A Tiny Discrepancy 96

Is Ambivalence the Perfect Father's Day Gift? 99

Tacky, Tacky, Tacky 101

People Watching at Lake Calhoun 103

Little League. Big Problem. 105

Thanks, Mom 107

Meditation on a Lawnmower 109

A Minnesota Must 111

On Finding a Bungee Cord 113

In Praise of Municipal Golf 115

Who Turned on the Air Conditioning? 118

Homegrown Tomatoes 120

Still Going Out for the Team 122

Start the State Fair without Me 124

A Fifties Flashback 126

Acorns and Toyotas 129

4 Sale 131

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